Tuesday, January 6, 2015

I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again

Email from Monday, January 5, 2015

Hello Family and Friends!

This week flew by but I still feel like I haven´t talked to you guys all year! ;)
What a rollercoaster of emotions this week was! Every day was filled with awesome awesome moments and then followed up by some of the hardest moments I´ve had so far. But I learned so much! I cannot believe it´s already my last full week with Hna Lyon. I am so sad but I know she´s gonna be an awesome member missionary still when she gets home...Jan 16 :( But oh well, change is a huge part of the mission so I just gotta roll with it!

Some #justboliviathings for this week
  • not sure why but fruitcakes rule Bolivia during this time of year and every time I´m offered it, I turn into the grinch when he´s at that holiday hubee-whatee being force-fed fruitcake 
  • nye is like having all of the giant firework shows in northern California happen in your neighborhood. it starts at midnight and people legit party all night long....which is not so awesome for a sister missionary determined to get some sleep! but we went to the roof and watched at midnight and it was way cool
  • downside is that after nye you can still buy fireworks at all the ventas and there's no age limit so all week we´ve just seen little kids with lighters blowing off fireworks at night and SOMEONE THREW A FIREWORK AT US! Like one of those little ones people do in their front yards that just pop really loud but still...I thought I entered a war zone and was hit by a grenade...it was pretty sketch. darn niƱos... 
  • alcohol...............the entire town was shut down this week because everyone was drunk and/or hungover from Wednesday to Friday. It was embarrassing and disgusting and just sad. 

But on a positive note, we have awesome, awesome investigators right now and this week I really learned about and saw the difference in people who have been prepared by the Lord to receive the gospel at this time in their life. We have Mariluz who has breast cancer and made a promise with the Lord that if she lived, she would always share her knowledge of God and His miracles so she´s already an awesome missionary, we´re just helping her learn the truth so she can share it. She´s so great and we just hope her husband can start meeting with us too so her whole family can be blessed. Maria Fernanda is the most adorable lady ever. She´s 23 and she has a little daughter but she´s so eager to learn about the gospel and a lot of her family members are members of the church so they´re totally supporting her in this decision. They´re both working towards getting baptized at the end of the month. 

One experience I had this week that I really want to share with you guys is an experience that we had with a couple we have been teaching for a while. We showed up this week for an appt and brought a Book of Mormon to give them. But when we showed up, the wife met us at the door and said we couldn´t meet with them anymore because they didn´t like our message and didn´t want us near them. When we asked why, the husband came out and the two of them pretty much ranted on about all these lies and myths and stories they had read on the internet about our church and the Book of Mormon. We tried addressing their concerns and refuting and explaining that they were wrong but it was very very clear that they had closed their minds and hearts on the topic. So Hna. Lyon and I stood there on their doorstep, with tears in our eyes, with shaking voices, and with the spirit in our hearts and we bore our simple and sincere testimonies of the Book of Mormon and our love of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and His true church on the earth today and then we invited them to ask God and then walked away with our arms around each other, confident that the Book of Mormon IS the word of God, that it testifies of Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer, that it contains the fulness of His gospel. I know that with all my heart because I have read it. I have asked God in faith and I have felt the power of God, the Holy Ghost, confirm to me. If you have not read the Book of Mormon or are unsure of it´s truthfulness, I invite you to read it, to ask your Heavenly Father, and know for yourself. 

I love being a missionary. I love the difficult times when we get yelled at in quechua or have 6 dogs barking during the entire lesson because those times come with the great times when we have companionship study and have the spirit work in both of us to help one another or when we watch someone completely change their lives as they come to know and understand gospel truths. This is a message of change. I testify that because of Christ´s Atonement, we can change, we can be better. To all of you who set goals for the new year, stick to them! You can change. I love this work, His work, and I´m grateful every day to be a part of it. 

One of my goals is to work on humility by keeping a gratitude journal each day. It will help me realize how much I´ve been blessed by someone who knows so much more than I do. 

I hope you guys are all doing something each day to become more like Jesus Christ and feel His spirit in your lives. I love you all! :)

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Gauger

 We visited the Plaza in the center of Santa Cruz last P-Day. It´s only 15 minutes away by taxi and it´s so cool! I felt like I was back on my trip to Mexico! I bought the cutest little nativity made out of salt because there´s salt flats in bolivia and another little one in a part of a tree. my first recuerdos!
At midnight on NYE, they had INSANE fireworks and we went on the roof and watched em.

We made pasta because we had to be in at 8 on nye 

We made french toast on new years day and had hot chocolate the other day because it was FREEZING! I had to wear gloves when we went out to our lessons. 
 I made MASACO in a tree!! It´s smashed bananas with cheese. It´s actually not too bad but it´s a lot harder to make than it looks!

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